- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal prosecutors won’t seek the death penalty against New Orleans crime figure Telly Hankton and four others facing racketeering charges in a broad indictment alleging more than a decade of crimes including drug dealing and multiple slayings.

Hankton already is serving a life sentence after a state court conviction in one death. The federal indictment returned last year charges him with that same death, another killing and other crimes.

A notice filed in U.S. District Court on Friday said prosecutors won’t seek execution if they convict Hankton and the others in the racketeering case. The reasons for the decision were not stated.

The indictment against Hankton also includes several codefendants, including members of his family.

Also spared from the possibility of a federal death sentence in Friday’s filing are codefendants Andre Hankton, Thomas Hankton, Kevin Jackson and Walter Porter.

Telly Hankton once was described by New Orleans police as one of the city’s most dangerous criminals. After a witness in a case against Hankton was shot and killed in 2011, Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a news conference with law enforcement officials in front of the daiquiri shop where the shooting occurred. “We’re coming to get you,” he declared in remarks addressed to Hankton and his associates.

By then, Hankton already was serving his sentence on the earlier state murder charge. Federal prosecutors allege in their lengthy indictment that Porter shot the witness at the daiquiri shop.

Last year’s indictment was the latest version of one first returned in 2012. It recounts a long list of alleged crimes dating back to the late 1990s. The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

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